MANY KARAOKE bars in the Philippines removed the song My Way from their song lists after a series of killings over the past decade.
At least half a dozen people have allegedly been murdered after the singing of the Frank Sinatra tune at karaoke clubs.
One local claimed the My Way killings, as they are now known, occur because everyone knows the song and everyone has a strong opinion on how it should be sung. Those murdering the song can themselves be murdered. Killings have occurred after out-of-tune renditions were laughed at or jeered by drunken listeners.
And tuneful singers of My Way have been killed by jealous rivals.
Maybe part of the problem is the song itself. The brash egotism of lines such as “To say the things he truly feels/and not the words of one who kneels’’ and “the record shows, Itook the blows and did it my way’’ can sound arrogant when sung by anyone other than Sinatra. People who love the song can take it too seriously
Those who hate the song My Way have described it as narcissistic, bombastic, boastful and triumphalist
Sid Vicious did a fascinatingly awful putdown version of My Way. Sinatra fans detested the version. Vicious reportedly often bought a gun with him on stage when singing it live.
In a parody of the killings, the Japanese band Kishidan released as their 10th Anniversary single, an uptempo rock cover of “My Way”. The promotional music video consisted of the lead singer Ayonocozy Show (DJ Ozma) being shot numerous times while singing.
The song is basically a lie. It suggests that its best to be fatalistic and selfish about life because this is all there is. “For what is a man? What has he got? If not himself, then he has naught.’’ So the strong ones “chew it up and spit it out’’. Being an individual is what it’s all about.
That’’s ridiculous. It reminds me of that great Monty Python moment in Life of Brian where the multitude yells in unison “We are all individuals’’. And then one bloke at the back yells out “I’m not.’’
Videoke rage” is not just limited to My Way in the Philippines. “There have been several reported cases of singers being assaulted, shot or stabbed mid-performance, usually over how songs are sung,” according to a 2008 report in Britain’s Guardian newspaper.
In Malaysia in 2008, a man at a coffee shop hogged the karaoke microphone so long he was stabbed to death by other patrons In Thailand, a man was arrested on charges that he shot to death eight neighbors, one of whom was his brother-in-law, in a dispute stemming from several karaoke offerings, including repeated renditions of John Denver’s Take Me Home, Country Roads.
In China, a fight occurred over the microphone in a karaoke parlor, and a man hacked two others to death with a meat cleaver.